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accept from the works of man, and what that sublimity in the masses built up by his corallinelike energy, which is honourable, even when transferred by association to the dateless hills, which it needed earthquakes to lift and deluges to mould.
And, first, of mere size: It might not be thought possible to emulate the sublimity of natural objects in this respect; nor would it be, if the architect contended with them in pitched battle. It would not be well to build pyramids in the valley of Chamouni; and St Peter's, among its many other errors, counts for not the least injurious its position on the slope of an inconsiderable hill. But imagine it placed on the plain of Marengo, or like the Superga of Turin, or like La Salute at Venice! The fact is, that the apprehension of the size of natural objects, as well as of architecture, depends more on fortunate excitement of the imagination than on measurements by the eye; and the architect has a peculiar advantage in being able to press close upon the sight, such magnitude as he can command. There are few rocks, even among the Alps, that have a clear vertical fall as high as the choir of Beauvais ; and if we secure a good precipice of wall, or a sheer and unbroken flank of tower, and place them where there are no enormous natural features to oppose them, we shall feel in them no want of sublimity of size. And it may be matter of encouragement in this respect, though one also of regret, to observe how much oftener man destroys natural sublimity, than nature crushes human power. It does not need much to humiliate a mountain. A hut will sometimes do it; I never look up to the Col de Balme from Chamouni, without a violent feeling of provocation against its hospitable little cabin, whose bright white walls form a visibly four-square spot on the green ridge, and entirely destroy all idea of its elevation. A single villa will often mar a whole landscape, and dethrone a dynasty of hills, and the Acropolis of Athens, Parthenon and all, has, I believe, been dwarfed into a model by the palace lately built beneath it. The fact is, that hills are not so high as we fancy them, and, when to the actual impression of no mean comparative size, is added the sense of the toil of manly hand and thought, a sublimity is reached, which nothing but gross error in arrangement of its parts can destroy.
While, therefore, it is not to be supposed that mere size will ennoble a mean design, yet every increase of magnitude will bestow upon it a certain degree of nobleness: so that it is well to determine at first, whether the building is to be markedly beautiful, or markedly sublime; and if the latter, not to be withheld by respect to smaller parts from reaching largeness of scale; provided only, that it be evidently in the architect's power to reach at least that degree of magnitude which is the lowest at which sublimIty begins, rudely definable as that which will
make a living figure look less than life beside it. It is the misfortune of most of our modern buildings that we would fain have a universal excellence in them; and so part of the funds must go in painting, part in gilding, part in fitting up, part in painted windows, part in small steeples, part in ornaments here and there; and neither the windows, nor the steeple, nor the ornaments, are worth their materials. For there is a crust about the impressible part of men's minds, which must be pierced through before they can be touched to the quick; and though we may prick at it and scratch it in a thousand separate places, we might as well have let it alone if we do not come through somewhere with a deep thrust: and if we can give such a thrust anywhere, there is no need of another; it need not be even so "wide as a church door," so that it be enough. And mere weight will do this; it is a clumsy way of doing it, but an effectual one too; and the apathy which cannot be pierced through by a small steeple, nor shone through by a small window, can be broken through in a moment by the mere weight of a great wall. Let, therefore, the architect who has not large resources, choose his point of attack first, and, if he choose size, let him abandon decoration; for, unless they are concentrated, and numerous enough to make their concentration conspicuous, all his ornaments together will not be worth one huge stone. And the choice must be a decided one, without compromise. It must be no question whether his capitals would not look better with a little carving-let him leave them huge as blocks; or whether his arches should not have richer architraves-let him throw them a foot higher, if he can; a yard more across the nave will be worth more to him than a tesselated pavement; and another fathom of outer wall, than an army of pinnacles. The limitation of size must be only in the uses of the building, or in the ground at his disposal.
That limitation, however, being by such circumstances determined, by what means, it is to be next asked, may the actual magnitude be best displayed; since it is seldom, perhaps never, that a building of any pretension to size looks so large as it is. The appearance of a figure in any distant, more especially in any upper, parts of it, will almost always prove that we have underestimated the magnitude of those parts.-S. L. A.
to us; pre-eminently therefore, whatever sets the glory of God more brightly before us. But things that only help us to exist are, in a secondary and mean sense, useful; or rather, if they be looked for alone, they are useless, and worse, for it would be better that we should not exist, than that we should guiltily disappoint the purposes of existence.
And yet people speak in this working age, when they speak from their hearts, as if houses and lands, and food and raiment, were alone useful, and as if sight, thought, and admiration were all profitless, so that men insolently call themselves utilitarians, who would turn, if they had their way, themselves and their race into vegetables; men who think, as far as such can be said to think, that the meat is more than the life, and the raiment than the body, who look to the earth as a stable, and to its fruit as fodder; vinedressers and husbandmen, who love the corn they grind, and the grapes they crush, better than the gardens of the angels upon the slopes of Eden; hewers of wood and drawers of water, who think that it is to give them wood to hew, and water to draw, that the pine-forests cover the mountains like the shadow of God, and the great rivers move like His eternity. And so come upon us that woe of the preacher, that though God "hath made everything beautiful in his time, also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end."
This Nebuchadnezzar curse, that sends men to grass like oxen, seems to follow but too closely on the excess or continuance of national power and peace. In the perplexities of nations, in their struggles for existence, in their infancy, their impotence, or even their disorganisation, they have higher hopes and nobler passions. Out of the suffering comes the serious mind; out of the salvation, the grateful heart; out of endurance, fortitude; out of deliverance, faith; but when they have learned to live under providence of laws, and with decency and justice of regard for each other, and when they have done away with violent and external sources of suffering, worse evils seem to arise out of their rest; evils that vex less and mortify more, that suck the blood though they do not shed it, and ossify the heart though they do not torture it. And deep though the causes of thankfulness must be to every people at peace with others and at unity in itself, there are causes of fear, also, a fear greater than of sword and sedition: that dependence on God may be forgotten, because the bread is given and the water sure; that gratitude to Him may cease, because His constancy of protection has taken the semblance of a natural law; that heavenly hope may grow faint amidst the full fruition of the world; that selfishness may take the place of undemanded devotion, compassion be lost in vain-glory, and
love in dissimulation; that enervation may succeed to strength, apathy to patience, and the noise of jesting words and foulness of dark thoughts, to the earnest purity of the girded loins and the burning lamp. About the river of human life there is a wintry wind, though a heavenly sunshine; the iris colours its agitation, the frost fixes upon its repose. Let us beware that our rest become not the rest of stones, which so long as they are torrent tossed and thunder stricken maintain their majesty, but when the stream is silent, and the storm passed, suffer the grass to cover them and the lichen to feed on them, and are ploughed down into dust.
And though I believe that we have salt enough of ardent and holy mind amongst us to keep us in some measure from this moral decay, yet the signs of it must be watched with anxiety, in all matter however trivial, in all directions however distant. And at this time, when the iron roads are tearing up the surface of Europe, as grapeshot do the sea, when their great net is drawing and twitching the ancient frame and strength together, contracting all its various life, its rocky arms and rural heart, into a narrow, finite, calculating metropolis of manufactures; when there is not a monument throughout the cities of Europe that speaks of old years and mighty people, but it is being swept away to build cafés and gaming-houses; when the honour of God is thought to consist in the poverty of His temple, and the column is shortened and the pinnacle shattered, the colour denied to the casement and the marble to the altar, while exchequers are exhausted in luxury of boudoirs and pride of reception-rooms; when we ravage without a pause all the loveliness of creation which God in giving pronounced good, and destroy without a thought all those labours which men have given their lives and their sons' sons' lives to complete, and have left for a legacy to all their kind, a legacy of more than their hearts' blood, for it is of their souls' travail; there is need, bitter need, to bring back into men's minds, that to live is nothing, unless to live be to know Him by whom we live; and that He is not to be known by marring His fair works, and blotting out the evidence of His influences upon His creatures; not amidst the hurry of crowds and crash of innovation, but in solitary places, and out of the glowing intelligences which He gave to men of old. He did not teach them how to build for glory and for beauty, He did not give them the fearless, faithful, inherited energies that worked on and down from death to death, generation after generation, that we might give the work of their poured-out spirit to the axe and the hammer; He has not cloven the earth with rivers, that their white wild waves might turn wheels and push paddles, nor turned it up under, as it were fire, that it might heat wells and cure diseases; He brings not up His quails by the
east wind, only to let them fall in flesh about the camp of men; He has not heaped the rocks of the mountain only for the quarry, nor clothed the grass of the field only for the oven.-M. P.
MAN'S BUSINESS IN LIFE.
or intent of it; and as these emotions are in no way resultant from, nor obtainable by, any operation of the intellect; it is evident that the sensation of beauty is not sensual on the one hand, nor is it intellectual on the other, but is dependent on a pure, right, and open state of the heart, both for its truth and for its intensity,
Men's proper business in this world falls insomuch that even the right after-action of the mainly into three divisions:
First, to know themselves, and the existing state of the things they have to do with.
Secondly, to be happy in themselves, and in the existing state of things.
Thirdly, to mend themselves, and the existing state of things, as far as either are marred and mendable.
These, I say, are the three plain divisions of proper human business on this earth. For these three, the following are usually substituted and adopted by human creatures:
First, to be totally ignorant of themselves, and the existing state of things.
intellect upon facts of beauty so apprehended, is dependent on the acuteness of the heart-feeling about them. And thus the apostolic words come true, in this minor respect as in all others, that men are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, having the understanding darkened because of the hardness of their hearts, and so, being past feeling, give themselves up to lasciviousness. For we do indeed see constantly that men having naturally acute perceptions of the beautiful, yet not re ceiving it with a pure heart, nor into their hearts at all, never comprehend it, nor receive good from it, but make it a mere minister to their
Secondly, to be miserable in themselves, and desires, and accompaniment and seasoning of
in the existing state of things.
Thirdly, to let themselves, and the existing state of things, alone (at least, in the way of correction).
The dispositions which induce us to manage, thus wisely, the affairs of this life seem to be: First, a fear of disagreeable facts, and conscious shrinking from clearness of light, which keep us from examining ourselves, and increase gradually into a species of instinctive terror at all truth, and love of glosses, veils, and decorative lies of every sort.
Secondly, a general readiness to take delight in anything past, future, far off, or somewhere else, rather than in things now, near, and here; leading us gradually to place our pleasure principally in the exercise of the imagination, and to build all our satisfaction on things as they are not.
lower sensual pleasures, until all their emotions take the same earthly stamp, and the sense of beauty sinks into the servant of lust.
Nor is what the world commonly understands by the cultivation of taste, anything more or better than this; at least in times of corrupt and over-pampered civilisation, when men build palaces and plant groves and gather luxuries, that they and their devices may hang in the corners of the world like fine-spun cobwebs, with greedy, puffed-up, spider-like lusts in the middle. And this, which in Christian times is the abuse and corruption of the sense of beauty, was in that pagan life of which St Paul speaks, little less than the essence of it, and the best they had. I do not know that of the expres sions of affection towards external nature to be found among heathen writers, there are any of which the leading thought leans not towards the sensual parts of her. Her beneficence they sought, and her power they shunned; her teach
Which power being one not accorded to the lower animals, and having indeed, when disciplined, a very noble use, we pride ourselves upon it, whether disciplined or not, and passing through both they understood never. The our lives complacently, in substantial discontent, and visionary satisfaction.-M. P.
pleasant influences of soft winds, and ringing streamlets, and shady coverts, of the violet couch and plane-tree shade, they received, per
IDEAS OF BEAUTY DEPEND ON PURITY haps, in a more noble way than we; but they
It is necessary to the existence of an idea of beauty, that the sensual pleasure which may be its basis should be accompanied first with joy, then with love of the object, then with the perception of kindness in a superior intelligence, finally, with thankfulness and veneration towards that intelligence itself; and as no idea can be at all considered as in any way an idea of beauty, antil it be made up of these emotions, any more than we can be said to have an idea of a letter of which we perceive the perfume and the fair writing, without understanding the contents of it,
found not anything, except fear, upon the bare mountain, or in the ghostly glen. The Hybla heather they loved more for its sweet hives than its purple hues. But the Christian Theoria seeks not, though it accepts and touches with its own purity, what the Epicurean sought; but finds its food and the objects of its love everywhere, in what is harsh and fearful as well as in what is kind: nay, even in all that seems coarse and commonplace, seizing that which is good; and sometimes delighting more at finding its table spread in strange places, and in the presence of its enemies, and its honey coming out of the rock, than if all were harmonised into a less
it belongs, though, as it may often belong to characters weak in other respects, it may carelessly be mistaken for a source of evil in them.
wondrous pleasure; hating only what is self-exists, it acts for good on the character to which sighted and insolent of men's work, despising all that is not of God, unless reminding it of God, yet able to find evidence of Him still where all seems forgetful of Him, and to turn that into a witness of His working which was meant to obscure it; and so with clear and unoffended sight beholding Him for ever, according to the written promise, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."-M. P.
SECRET OF TRUE HAPPINESS.
Gradually, thinking on from point to point, we shall come to perceive that all true happiness and nobleness are near us and yet neglected by us; and that till we have learned how to be happy and noble we have not much to tell, even to Red Indians. The delights of horse-racing and hunting, of assemblies in the night instead of the day, of costly and wearisome music, of costly and burdensome dress, of chagrined contention for place or power, or wealth, or the eyes of the multitude; and all the endless occupation without purpose, and idleness without rest, of our vulgar world, are not, it seems to me, enjoyments we need be ambitious to communicate. And all real and wholesome enjoyments possible to man have been just as possible to him, since first he was made of the earth, as they are now; and they are possible to him chiefly in peace. To watch the corn grow and the blossoms set; to draw hard breath over ploughshare or spade; to read, to think, to love, to hope, to praythese are the things that make men happy; they have always had the power of doing these; they never will have power to do more. The world's prosperity or adversity depends upon our knowing and teaching these few things; but upon iron, or glass, or electricity, or steam, in no wise. And I am Utopian and enthusiastic enough to believe that the time will come when the world will discover this. It has now made its experiments in every possible direction but the right one, and it seems that it must, at last, try the right one in a mathematical necessity.-M. P.
LOVE OF NATURE.
Though the absence of the love of nature is not an assured condemnation, its presence is an invariable sign of goodness of heart and justness of moral perception, though by no means of moral practice; that in proportion to the degree in which it is felt will probably be the degree in which all nobleness and beauty of character will also be felt; that when it is originally absent from any mind, that mind is in many other respects hard, worldly, and degraded; that where, having been originally present, it is repressed by art or education, that repression appears to have been detrimental to the person suffering it; and that wherever the feeling
And having arrived at this conclusion by a review of facts, which I hope it will be admitted, whether accurate or not, has at least been candid, these further considerations may confirm our belief in its truth. Observe: the whole force of education, until very lately, has been directed in every possible way to the destruction of the love of nature. The only knowledge which has been considered essential among us is that of words, and, next after it, of the abstract sciences; while every liking shown by children for simple natural history has been either violently checked (if it took an inconvenient form for the housemaids), or else scrupulously limited to hours of play; so that it has really been impossible for any child earnestly to study the works of God but against its conscience; and the love of nature has become inherently the characteristic of truants and idlers. While also the art of drawing, which is of more real importance to the human race than that of writing (because people can hardly draw anything without being of some use both to themselves and others, and can hardly write anything without wasting their own time and that of others)—this art of drawing, I say, which on plain and stern system should be taught to every child, just as writing is, has been so neglected and abused that there is not one man in a thousand, even of its professed teachers, who knows its first principles; and thus it needs much ill-fortune or obstinacy
much neglect on the part of his teachers, or rebellion on his own, before a boy can get leave to use his eyes or his fingers, so that those who can use them are for the most part neglected or rebellious lads-runaways and bad scholars-passionate, erratic, self-willed, and restive against all forms of education; while your well-behaved and amiable scholars are disciplined into blindness and palsy of half their faculties. Wherein there is at once a notable ground for what difference we have observed between the lovers of nature and its despisers; between the somewhat immoral and unrespectable watchfulness of the one and the moral and respectable blindness of the other.
One more argument remains, and that, I believe, an unanswerable one. As, by the accident of education, the love of nature has been among us associated with wilfulness, so, by the accident of time, it has been associated with faithlessness. I traced above the peculiar mode in which this faithlessness was indicated, but I never intended to imply, therefore, that it was an invariable concomitant of the love. Because it happens that, by various concurrent operations of evil, we have been led, according to those words of the Greek poet already quoted, to "dethrone the gods and crown the whirlwind," it is no
But the boat's bow is naïvely perfect; com. plete without an effort. The man who made it knew not that he was making anything beautiful as he bent its planks into those mysterious ever
the image of the sea-shell, the seal, as it were, of the flowing of the great tides and streams of ocean stamped on its delicate rounding. He leaves it when all is done, without a boast. It is simple work, but it will keep out water, and every plank, thenceforward, is a fate, and has men's lives wreathed in the knots of it, as the cloth yard shaft had their deaths in its plumes.
reason that we should forget there was once a time when the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind." And if we now take final and full view of the matter, we shall find that the love of nature, wherever it has existed, has been a faith-changing curves. It grows under his hands into ful and sacred element of human feeling-that is to say, supposing all circumstances otherwise the same with respect to two individuals, the one who loves nature most will be always found to have more faith in God than the other. It is intensely difficult, owing to the confusing and counter influences which always mingle in the data of the problem, to make this abstraction fairly; but so far as we can do it, so far, I boldly assert, the result is constantly the same; the nature-worship will be found to bring with it such a sense of the presence and power of a Great Spirit as no mere reasoning can either induce or controvert.-M. P.
A SEA BOAT.
Of all things, living or lifeless, upon this strange earth, there is but one which, having reached the mid-term of appointed human endurance on it, I still regard with unmitigated amazement. I know, indeed, that all around me is wonderful; but I cannot answer it with wonder: a dark veil with the foolish words, Nature of Things, upon it casts its deadening folds between me and their dazzling strangeness. Flowers open, and stars rise, and it seems to me they could have done no less. The mystery of distant mountain-blue only makes me reflect that the earth is of necessity mountainous; the sea wave breaks at my feet, and I do not see how it should have remained unbroken. But one object there is still, which I never pass without the renewed wonder of childhood, and that is the bow of a boat. Not of a racing-wherry, or revenue cutter, or clipper-yacht, but the blunt head of a common bluff, undecked sea boat, lying aside in its furrow of beach sand. The sum of navigation is in that. You may magnify it or decorate it as you will; you do not add to the wonder of it. Lengthen it into hatchet-like edge of iron, strengthen it with complex tracery of ribs of oak, carve it and gild it till a column of light moves beneath it on the sea, you have made no more of it than it was at first. That rude simplicity of bent plank, that can breast its way through the death that is in the deep sea, has in it the soul of shipping. Beyond this, we may have more work, more men, more money; we cannot have more miracle.
For there is first an infinite strangeness in the perfection of the thing as work of human hands. I know nothing else that man does which is perfect, but that: All his other doings have some sign of weakness, affectation, or ignorance in them. They are over-finished, or under-finished; they do not quite answer their end, or they show a mean vanity in answering it too well.
Then, also, it is wonderful on account of the greatness of the thing accomplished. No other work of human hands ever gained so much. Steam-engines and telegraphs, indeed, help us to fetch and carry, and talk; they lift weights for us, and bring messages with less trouble than would have been needed otherwise; this saving of trouble, however, does not constitute a new faculty, it only enhances the powers we already possess. But in that bow of the boat is the gift of another world. Without it, what prison wall would be so strong as that white and wailing fringe of sea? What maimed creatures, were we all chained to our rocks, Andromeda-like, or wandering by the endless shores, wasting our incommunicable strength, and pining in hopeless watch of unconquerable waves! The nails that fasten together the planks of the boat's bow are the rivets of the fellowship of the world. Their iron does more than draw lightning out of heaven, it leads love round the earth.
Then, also, it is wonderful on account of the greatness of the enemy that it does battle with. To lift dead weight, to overcome length of languid space, to multiply or systematise a given force; this we may see done by the bar, or beam, or wheel, without wonder. But to war with that living fury of waters, to bare its breast, moment after moment, against the unwearied enmity of ocean; the subtle, fitful, implacable smiting of the black waves, provoking each other on endlessly, all the infinite march of the Atlantic rolling on behind them to their help, and still to strike them back into a wreath of smoke and futile foam, and win its way against them, and keep its charge of life from them. Does any other soulless thing do as much as this?
I should not have talked of this feeling of mine about a boat if I had thought it was mine only; but I believe it to be common to all of us who are not seamen. With a seaman wonder changes into fellowship and close affection; but to all landsmen, from youth upwards, the boat remains a piece of enchantment, at least, unless we entangle our vanity in it, and refine it away into mere lath, giving up all its protective nobleness for pace. With those in whose eyes the perfection of a boat is swift fragility I have no sympathy. The glory of a boat is first, its